A/N: Hey guys, I'm back from the dead! Got bored one day in class and started typing away and this is the result. It's kind of a pointless drabble-y thing, but give me your thoughts on it anyways. I always love to hear from you all!
In other news, keep an eye out for the next chapter of Lucky Shot. I SWEAR it's coming! For now, enjoy the fruits of my randomness.
Disclaimer: Craig Bartlett owns Hey Arnold! and I do not. Darn.
That encounter on the rooftop didn't really surprise him. It wasn't that hard for him to believe that his childhood tormenter really held a torch for him. After all, no one could be that dense. The question had always been about how he felt about her.
So how did Arnold feel about Helga? Honestly he wasn't sure. There were some fluttery little butterflies whenever he saw her, but he knew that the butterflies didn't always mean something. The butterflies had been there with Ruth, Summer, Lila, and even Maria. That only meant that he thought the girl was pretty or had some other desirable quality. He didn't like to dwell on that fact because then he'd have to ask himself which of Helga's traits he felt appealing, and he definitely wasn't ready for that.
If there was one thing he hated more than the uncertainty, it was acknowledging the fact that he wasn't ready for something. Subconsciously, it really bothered him that he was unwilling to comprehend certain emotions that he felt himself. He wanted to be the ever-understanding Arnold, the guy who was prepared for anything. He had lived his entire life in a boarding house with a crazy family, faced numerous urban legends head on, and even saved the neighborhood for crying out loud. He was Arnold, and he could handle everything that life threw at him.
Except for love.
No, wait! Erase that thought! What he couldn't handle was the idea that he had some sort of feelings for the girl who had made it her mission to try and ruin his day every day. That was the one thing that he didn't want to think about.
Of course, that didn't take away her feelings for him. The signs had been there all along, and Arnold was not nearly as dense as Helga or anyone else liked to believe. He wasn't deaf. He had heard a monologue or two, at least. And the poem book? Of course he had read ahead. That hadn't really surprised him, either. He had known about her obsessive little crush on him for a few years now and honestly, he was flattered. There was even a part of him that wanted to like her, but he kept trying to shut it up with admiring nearly every pretty and slightly nice girl that came his way.
But now what was he to do? The ball was in his court after all these years, and he hated to think that he'd had all this time to prepare yet nothing to show for it. Why couldn't it be as simple as Helga had made it? She had given him an out, and yet here he was, dwelling on her proclamation of love instead of acting as if it hadn't happened like she wanted. Why was he so incapable of just giving the girl what she wanted?
Perhaps that was the problem all along. He had been so focused on her all throughout their, well for lack of a better term, relationship. It was always about her pranks, her jeering laughter, how she made him feel. Helga was always forcing him to feel crummy, making him think of her as the villain, a bully. He never had time really to consider how he truly felt about her, as opposed to what she tried to force him to feel.
Of course, the fact that he couldn't stop obsessing over the topic spoke volumes, as he soon realized.
After all, why did it matter so much? Perhaps because he felt it was wrong to simply take the easy way out. She had confessed everything to him, and she deserved an answer. He only wondered what his answer would be.
Arnold sighed. His thoughts had run full circle again.
Oh Helga, he thought, Why are you so confusing and infuriating? Why do you force me to question everything? Why can't I just take my mind off of you? Why did you have to steal my heart?
His eyes snapped open, finally admitting to himself what the real answer was and still having a hard time accepting it. It was true. He liked her, liked her. Perhaps even more than that, but that realization would have to wait for another day. He had to take this one step at a time.
Yet how could he truly understand what Helga had gone through? It would be so easy for him to just tell her and then have her fall right into his arms. It wouldn't be fair. She had spent years pining for him, when he had only just realized his feelings.
Arnold sighed, finally realizing why Helga had always tormented him so. It was so much more than the fact that she didn't want her secret discovered. She had been afraid of rejection and humiliation, yes, but she also hated how complicated it was. It must have been so frustrating to care that much for someone and yet have no way of showing it. Of course she would take it out on the object of her strife. In this case it was him. In a way, she really did hate him, simply because of how much she loved him.
I'll wait to tell her, he decided, I need to get a chance to understand her.
With that plan in mind, Arnold continued on his school days much as he had before the big confession. He continued to dole out advice, chase urban legends with Gerald, act more responsible than his grandparents, and complain about Helga's antics. Those complaints, however, were often overshadowed in his thoughts by how much he really didn't mind the way she constantly teased him. After all, he knew that her bullying meant that she still loved him. He knew that her pranks were out of frustration towards him. He knew that no matter what, her heart was his. He always knew.
A/N: Eh, the ending's not so strong, but whatevs. Let me know what you think in a review, please! And if you have any questions for me pertaining to my stories, my personal life, or really anything, ask me on formspring! My username is NerdilyNi, although I reserve the right to refuse to answer your question if it's innapropriate...
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They leave me with more of these on my face. ^